The Fire Next Time Questions and Answers
by James Baldwin

Start Your Free Trial

What solution does James Baldwin offer to end America's racial divide?

Expert Answers info

Bruce Bergman eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor

calendarEducator since 2011

write3,640 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

The solution offered by Baldwin in his book, The Fire Next Time, is an emotional-psychological and social-consciousness solution to the (many) problems springing from the racial divide. Baldwin does not advocate a specific course of political action as a concrete plan to erase the "color line" but rather proposes that an effort to see others for who/what they are is the best way to assuage the race conflicts in America. 

In the volume's first essay, "My Dungeon Shook," Baldwin writes to his nephew that black Americans might be called upon to enact the kind of acceptance he sees as a solution because white Americans cannot reasonably be expected to do so in mid-century America. 

"There is no reason for you to try to become like white people and there is no basis whatever for their impertinent assumption that they must accept you. The really terrible thing, old buddy, is that you must accept them. [...] You must accept them and accept them with love."

Baldwin expands upon this argument in the...

(The entire section contains 578 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial